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I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday. More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Covenant, the Covenant, and the Covenant: Understanding Christian Theology in Context

 

Sometimes we think theology is supposed to answer the questions Who or what is G-d, and how can we have a happy afterlife? That’s actually not all that Biblical. The questions we should be asking if we’re going to do specifically Biblical theology are more along the lines of What has G-d done, what has He promised, and how will those promises be kept?

This is part of the reason Christian theology is so often misunderstood. Take this idea: If you do a lot of good in this life, you can have a happy afterlife! It seems a reasonable enough idea on its face. It shows up in Greek philosophy, but it’s not actually in the Bible.

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The situation in Iran as regards the Wuhan Virus is well-known and publicized. The Mullahs have been urging caution, and pleading with their followers to stay home, and not take pilgrimages or visit shrines. Their entreaties have been ignored by the masses, who continue to visit holy places like the famous city of Qom, believed […]

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For those of you that cannot attend Mass due to the Corona Virus shutdown here is a link to live streaming Mass from the around the United States, and some from around the world. The link provides a daily calendar of Mass, as well as some said in Latin. On a sadder note as some […]

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Today, Christians recall a man who was born blind but was given sight by Jesus the Christ. Jesus says that it is not for the man’s own particular sins nor for the sins of his family that he was born blind. He was blind so that in being healed the Lord’s goodness can be recognized, […]

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This week on “The Learning Curve” (St. Patrick’s Day edition), Cara and Gerard discuss COVID-19’s ongoing toll on families and K-12 education. They interview Raymond Flynn, former Ambassador to the Vatican and three-term Mayor of Boston. Ambassador Flynn shares thoughts on the world-historical moment presented by the Coronavirus pandemic, how public leaders are responding, and how it compares to past crises. He recalls his background as an Irish-Catholic product of religious schools, who rose to service on behalf of a sainted Pope, to remind us of the benefits uniquely offered by Catholic schools, especially for urban poor and minority communities. He also calls on clergy members, elected officials, and policymakers to strengthen their advocacy efforts on behalf of faith-based education, so that we can finally end the bigoted legacy of 19th-century Blaine Amendments that block access to opportunity for all children.

Stories of the Week: In Philadelphia, the school district is refusing to provide remote instruction during the Coronavirus shutdown, claiming concerns about inequity on behalf of those who lack computers or high-speed internet at home. Is this a genuine recognition of the digital divide, or an excuse to deny 200,000 schoolchildren a quality education? The U.S. Department of Education issued guidelines specifically for America’s 7 million students with special needs, who are especially vulnerable as a result of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Helping Others Struggling During the Quarantine

 

I’ve been part of several conversations, now, that touch upon (or pound upon, depending) the deleterious economic effects of measures being taken and/or recommended to limit the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. Whether or not these measures are too much, too little, or just right — and whether or not we’ll ever know how close we came to hitting the sweet spot — I am both persuaded that Wuhan is a serious threat and very aware of the risk to the economy that the attempt to slow rates of infection is causing. Friends, neighbors, and even my own children are already feeling the effects, and the damage to their financial well-being may take a very long time to repair, if it can be repaired at all.

I’d point out that, for those of us who are relatively less affected, because we’ve got gummint jobs, gobs of money in the bank, or a relatively impervious retirement fund, Wuhan provides an opportunity for charity in the best sense of the word. Here are a few of my ideas — I’d welcome yours as well!

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Suddenly, Hope

 

When Moses led his people from Egypt and across desert, the miracles that freed them felt so distant when thirst lingered under the hot desert sun.

Here, then, in their thirst for water, the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “Why then did you bring us up out of Egypt? To have us die of thirst with our children and our livestock?”

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Adventures in the Septuagint

 

Let’s look at a few adventures in Bible exploration using the Septuagint (LXX), the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament. (For online access to the LXX, consider here or here.)

But why study the LXX? I’m glad you asked. It’s customary to say that the LXX is important because it’s the OT translation most used by the authors of the New Testament. That’s not wrong, but it can be misleading. I don’t think the NT authors took the LXX to be divinely inspired; when they draw from the OT, they draw from the Hebrew. But they’re writing in Greek, the common tongue of their era, and they don’t see any need to reinvent the wheel. So they usually opt to use the pre-existing Greek biblical vocabulary and idioms, and that means using the LXX.

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Married people or even anyone who has shared a romantic connection might have occasionally wondered: “Why can others not see what I see in this person? Why are they not thrilled and impressed as I am?” Everyone experiences something similar when trying and failing to share any focus of joy. From music and stories to […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Never Say Never

 

I think everyone must have their own “never say never” story, and this is mine. 

I have been involved with my church’s 20s/30s singles group for quite a few years now, and something we’ve done for a long time is discipleship groups (or d-groups). These are small gender-specific groups that meet during the week, usually at someone’s house, for deeper fellowship and Bible study. I really enjoy d-groups and signed up for one right away. But after I had been a member of a d-group a couple of times, our leader, Kelly, started asking me to think about leading or co-leading one. 

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As I have mentioned, I am now serving as a chaplain at a Christian gospel mission in downtown Seattle. You would not be surprised to learn that we, as a staff, are being urged to give many public service announcements about avoiding the spread of Covid-19. But along with the PSAs, we are still presenting […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Satan, Theologian

 

Today, we hear again of Christ’s temptation by Satan in the desert. Note what occurs in the second temptation:

Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,

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Yesterday was Ash Wednesday for Catholics. It begins the penitential season of Lent. There is no clearer reminder for our neighbors than the mark of death (ashes) upon our foreheads that the will to assert claims of truth and claims of sin — identifying misbehavior so that all may flourish through right conduct — neither […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Family Second, Faith First

 

Recently I had the pleasure of listening to Lt. Col. Allen West speak during the service of a local church. His presence and purpose, as much as the words of his excellent message, brought to mind something that I had been mentally digesting since the recent death of the British philosopher and writer Sir Roger Scruton. Both Col. West and Sir Roger serve up mental meals far richer than this poor cook can scramble together but I do have a few beginning bites partially digested enough to serve up a notion or two from them.

It was Scruton’s reflection on faith and family that I had been pondering. He had taken to task the need for government to tout so-called “family-friendly” policies. He contended that when the health of a nation’s faith was solid, the fate of the family was secure. He did not discount the importance and need of a strong family culture for the nation to flourish. But the foundation of that family culture was not in policy but the strong faith of individuals. A nation with a strong culture of faith will have strong families which keep the values of the faith, culture, and nation alive.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

No need to thank me. More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Its Ash Wednesday. More

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Start your week with the Three Martini Lunch as we dissect the good, the bad, and the crazy concerning the Nevada Democratic Caucuses. Join Jim and Greg as they experience more than a little bit of schadenfreude as Democrats thoroughly freak out over Bernie Sanders dominating the vote on Saturday. But they get more serious as ’60 Minutes’ and even CNN remind everyone how radical Sanders is and how he praised Fidel Castro and Marxists in Nicaragua and the Soviet Union. And they unload on Nevada Democrats for running terrible caucuses plagued by having too few officials to run some precincts effectively and still not finishing the vote totals by Monday morning.

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. Simply wonderful advice. Happy Sunday!  More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Stand Up Republic and Principles First are excited to announce a one-day grassroots summit in Washington, DC on Saturday, February 29, focused on reviving principled conservatism in the United States. We look forward to bringing together conservative speakers, thought leaders, and grassroots activists for a day of panels, speeches, networking, and substantive discussion about what […]

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